The Intersection of Words & Music

My sister was diagnosed with two rare types of cancer while she was still in high school. I was a senior in college at the time, and though she’s now in full remission, married, and has a sweet little miracle baby of her own to celebrate, from time to time I remember those dark days, the unknown future, the hospital visits…all of it. And I remind myself how very lucky we are that our story, unlike many others out there, has a happy ending.

I’m all too aware not everyone’s story does. And there’s no better reminder of that than the song I’m about to share with you.

You see, during that time in my life, I did what most writers do during times of conflict: I turned to a blank page in a journal. It was the only way to deal with all the emotions since talking to other people was out of the question—mostly because talking involves speaking, and, you know, forming words instead of tears, which was a feat I couldn’t quite master back then. And let’s be honest. No one ever knows how to handle a crier.

So I poured my soul out into an old journal with really lame but entirely heartfelt poems that included stellar lines like “sky’s gone black/the fire gone/it’s so clear/we’ve been wrong/truth in a mirror/life in the glass/you can’t look back/into the past.”

Right? I know. Let’s hope my novel writing is better than my poetic prowess.

One brave day (after we received word of Sandy’s remission and I could breathe again), I decided to share that unique, special, moody, and slightly embarrassing treasure trove of thoughts with my good friend Tom Wedsworth. He often wrote songs of his own, so I thought if anyone could understand the overwhelming need to put emotion into some other form, it would be him. I shoved the journal into his hands before going out of town, because heck, even bravery has its moments. I figured if it was horrible, he’d hopefully forget all about it before I came back and we could both pretend like it never happened.

Turns out, instead of never talking about it again or letting me feel totally lame, Tom wrote a song—a song that to this day brings back a plethora of memories and emotions. He lost his grandmother to cancer; he felt the pain that the disease brings first hand and understood the emotions, the doubt, the anger, the sadness… and he took our two very different stories and made them into something far more meaningful to me than words strewn across a page.

The only thing more special than the intersection of words and music is maybe the intersection of friends and soul. And so today I share CURTAIN CALL—a song inspired by loss, faith, and hope—a song that reminds me of a time when things were very, very different, a time when we put on our happy faces and did battle with the unknown, a time when our hearts were laid open for all to see.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…and over a decade later, still do.

Live performance, circa 2001:


And here’s the official mp3 version:

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